PVG Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

Helping you to provide a safe youth work environment

Please find listed below a number of Frequently Asked Questions about the PVG Scheme.

What is the PVG Scheme?

In February 201l, the Scottish Government introduced a new membership scheme to replace and improve upon the current disclosure arrangements for people who work with vulnerable groups.
The Protecting Vulnerable Groups Scheme (PVG Scheme):
  • helps to ensure that those who have regular contact with children and protected adults through paid and unpaid work do not have a known history of harmful behaviour.
  • Is quick and easy to use, reducing the need for PVG Scheme members to complete a detailed application form every time a disclosure check is required.
  • Strikes a balance between proportionate protection and robust regulation and make it easier for employers to determine who they should check to protect their client group.

We have lots of parent volunteers who just do one night a month, do they have to join the Scheme?

It depends on what role they carry out. Most youth work volunteer positions will be within the 'regulated work' criteria. This is because they carry out any (i.e. they just have to do one of these activities, not all) of a number of specified activities:
·         Caring for children
·         Teaching, instructing, training or supervising children
·         Being in sole charge of children
·         Unsupervised contact with children
·         Providing advice or guidance to a child or particular children which relates to physical or emotional 
          wellbeing, education or training
If your volunteers carry out any of the above activities as part of their ‘normal duties’ at the youth club they will need to become PVG Scheme members. It doesn’t matter how frequently they carry out this role.
There are a number of exemptions and specific guidelines around some areas of work. If you are in any doubt about which volunteers should be in the PVG Scheme please phone Youth Scotland.

I've got staff and volunteers in my organisation; who do I have to pay for and how much will it cost?

PVG Scheme membership for paid staff in any sector costs £59. This provides them with their first PVG Scheme Record. Subsequent ‘Updates’ cost £18; if a worker has vetting information on their Record it all also be on a subsequent Update.

Volunteers in the qualifying voluntary sector do not have to pay for membership and Updates are also free. PVG Scheme membership and Updates for volunteers in other sectors (e.g. public sector) incurs the same fees as paid staff.


We’ve got some young (under 16) leaders in our group. Do they need to join the Scheme?

A person of any age can join the Scheme. However, organisations need to think carefully about the role the young person has and if that role fits the criteria for Scheme membership (see above).

I’ve heard that the PVG Scheme is transferable, so why am I being asked to fill in another form?

The PVG Scheme is a membership scheme that allows employers to easily access relevant information about potential workers. The Scheme stores information about members so records are quick and easy to check.

The PVG Scheme Record gives details about an individuals criminal record and other information held by the Police. There could be many months or years between the PVG Scheme Record being printed and it being seen by a new employer. Therefore, to ensure that employers have the most up to date information available on that worker, an ‘Update’ should be requested by each new employer. This is a short form for workers to fill in and it allows employers to inform the Scheme that a particular individual is in a regulated work position with them.


Some of the workers that I have put through the PVG Scheme have left. Do I need to do anything?

Yes. When you request a PVG Scheme Record or Update a link is created between your organisation and the individual. This ensures that you are told if the individual becomes barred from working with children during their employment with you, so you can remove them from their regulated work role.

Individual Scheme members should tell Disclosure Scotland when they stop working (as a paid member of staff or a volunteer) for an organisation so that the records are ‘delinked’. If this occurs Disclosure Scotland will contact you to confirm this. However, to be sure that the individual has been removed from your organisations list of workers, you should notify Disclosure Scotland directly http://www.disclosurescotland.co.uk/


What convictions will be listed on a PVG Scheme Record?

In September 2015 the regulations around criminal conviction disclosure changed.

The law now requires the following always to be disclosed:
  • any unspent convictions, and
  • any spent convictions contained in a list of offences that must always be disclosed
            (click to see  Offences which must always be disclosed )
This means that many 'spent' convictions will not be disclosed, or need to be disclosed by the PVG Applicant on a self-declaration form.
'Unspent' convictions are convictions that the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 determines not yet to have reached the point where the person is to be treated, for most purposes, as if they had not committed the offence.  Some convictions because of their nature can never become spent, for example an offence that carried a sentence of imprisonment for more than 2 years and 6 months remains unspent.  The point of which a conviction becomes spent depends on the sentence received and not the type of offence.
You can find out more about the changes here: